Why It Works
The Bad Check Restitution Program works because...
•Bad Check reports are easy to file and follow-up action is prompt.
•Upon recovery, 100 percent of the face value of the check is returned to the victims.
•There is no minimum dollar restriction.
•Bad check offenders must complete an educational class at their own expense.
•The program operates at no cost to the county or the taxpayers.
Cutting Your Losses – As Easy As 1-2-3
1. Document at least one attempt to contact the check writer by sending a courtesy notice. Allow the check writer a minimum of 10 days to respond and remit payment in full. Sample Courtesy Notice
2. If you do not hear from the check writer or receive payment, simply download the Bad Check Restitution Form.
3. Fill out the crime report form, attach originals (you retain photocopies) of all checks and notification documents, such as return receipts and bank notices and mail to:
Bad Check Restitution Program
P.O. Box 429
Scranton, PA 18501- 0429
(postal address only)
If you do not receive restitution within 60 days, contact the
Lackawanna County District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program at 1.800.831.6623.
A check is Eligible if...
•The amount is no more than $1,500 (or multiple checks not exceeding this limit). There are no minimum dollar restrictions.
•It was received in Lackawanna County, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods or services presumed "good" at the time of acceptance.
•A "courtesy notice" was sent to check writer allowing 10 days to make check good.
•It is submitted to the program within 90 days from the date on the check.
•A photo I.D. (driver's license, military I.D., state identification card) was recorded at the time of the transaction.
A check is Ineligible if...
•It is post-dated.
•Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction.
•It is a government, rent, or payroll check.
•The identity of the check writer is unknown.
•There is no amount, date, or signature on the check.
•It has not been processed by a bank.
•The check involves an "extension of credit" or payment on an account.
Checks ineligible for the Lackawanna County District Attorney Bad Check Restitution Program may be pursued via small claims court process
or by a private collection agency.
Checking it out! Tips for Accepting Checks.
The best way to reduce your losses is to avoid taking bad checks from the start. The following tips are suggestions to help you establish good procedures for accepting checks.
A Message From
District Attorney Andy Jarbola
Institute a check acceptance policy.
A clearly posted check acceptance policy for your employees and customers can go a long way toward reducing your losses. Policies should state which types of checks can and cannot be accepted and include the consequences to bad check writers.
Confirm the identity of the check writer.
All I.D. can be forged. The most reliable form of I.D. is that which contains a photo and a physical description. Take the I.D. in hand and write the I.D. number, birth date, address and other descriptive data on the front of the check. Ask questions. If the I.D. does not belong to the person writing the check, they may be thrown off guard.
Whenever possible avoid accepting checks written on a new account.
Approximately 85% of all bad checks are written on accounts only a few months old and bear check numbers between
101 and 150. Use caution. Do not accept counter drafts.
The signature should be legible and signed in the presence of the individual accepting the check. Do NOT accept previously signed checks. For a company check, it is vital that the signature is legible. If not, print the individual's name on the front of the check.
The complete address should be imprinted on the check. Require a street address, in addition to a PO Box number. Obtain a phone number as well.
Accept checks only written with today's date. Pre- or post-dated checks are not accepted in the Bad Check Restitution Program and cannot typically be criminally prosecuted. This restricts any recourse you may have against the check writer if your own collection attempts fail.
Make sure written amounts and numbers correspond. Banks will not honor checks with discrepancies between written amounts and numbers.
Avoid accepting checks drawn on an out-of-state bank.
REMEMBER, you are not required to accept a check from anyone.
If you feel uncomfortable or suspicious, trust your intuition!
Ask for another form of payment.